BELCHERTOWN – Jessica Morehouse has been running Leena’s Bartending and Catering for the last eight years but is looking to expand.
She plans to open her own restaurant called Leena’s Place at the beginning of next year.
The restaurant will be located at Cold Spring Country Club, 336 Chauncey Walker St.
There has not been a restaurant at this location since Joseph’s at Cold Spring closed a few years ago and Morehouse was ready to hop on the opportunity.
“This has been a goal of mine since I was little kid, and I have worked extremely hard to get here,” Morehouse added.
Her goal right now is the get the restaurant opened by the end of January 2023 but there are a few more steps that must be completed before that.
The Select Board approved her liquor license at their Nov. 28 meeting and now she must wait for the Alcohol Beverages Control Commission to approve her license and an inspection from the Health Department.
The name Leena holds a special place in Morehouse’s heart.
Her middle name is Lee and she said that ever since she was a little girl her grandma and mother called her Leena.
Morehouse lost her mother at the beginning of the year to stage four brain cancer.
“It is a name that has a lot of meaning to me,” Morehouse added.
Leena’s Place’s menu will have a diverse menu and include some Jamaican, Mexican, Indian, Italian, American and barbeque cuisine according to Morehouse.
She plans to have a different type of cuisine each day run as their special along with their main menu that will run every day.
“We wanted to make the community feel more welcomed instead of having only one nationality of food available,” Morehouse added.
Morehouse said that there will be a specialty drink menu as well with names such as “19th hole” and “fore” since the restaurant is located on a golf course.
Morehouse also plans to host trivia nights, karaoke, comedy and local live bands.
Morehouse said, “The restaurant is going to be upscale, so we do not want a club environment but want to give the public something to look forward to.”
She added,“There isn’t much in Belchertown. When I posted on the public forum, people seemed interested and wrote a lot of things they would like to see happen and tried to incorporate that.”
The restaurant will be open seven days a week.
During non-golf season they will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday and 10 to 12 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Morehouse hopes to offer breakfast at Leena’s Place on Saturday and Sunday during the golf season to “have some time to get up and running,” Morehouse said.
Morehouse will continue to run her mobile catering business and restaurant at the same time and said that anyone looking for a job can do so online.